He’s back! No, the other one!

Game of Thrones second season finale included the surprising return of a fan-favorite character.

Jason Momoa reprised his role as the formidable Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo tonight.

The Conan the Barbarian star returned for a sequence where his widow Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) enters the magical House of the Undying in an effort to reclaim her stolen dragons. Daenerys sees a beckoning vision of her tragically killed lover holding their child.

Producers really wanted Momoa’s cameo to be a surprise (we’ve been itching to tell readers for months) and, amazingly, it was. “Khal Drogo’s death was as sad off-screen as it was on,” says Dan Weiss, the showrunner on Thrones along with David Benioff. “After his last day of season one shooting, it was sort of like, ‘There goes the party.’ Luckily, or unluckily, or both, the rest of the cast stepped up their efforts on that front. Still, it was excellent to bring him back. I’m amazed word didn’t get out, to be honest – he was in Belfast shooting the scene. People must have seen him. He’s a hard guy to miss.”

But that’s not all. Here’s some more post-finale Thrones scoop:

— Break out the fine Arbor wine, some celebration is in order. Benioff and Weiss have renewed their deal with HBO to continue as Thrones showrunners for two more seasons. The agreement doesn’t automatically mean Thrones will receive a fourth season pickup, mind you, but fans don’t have any reason to worry on the renewal front anyway. Thrones is cresting a cumulative 10.3 million viewers per episode this season, making it the third most popular HBO series of all time. Not bad for a fantasy project that many in Hollywood assumed would scare off mainstream audiences, and “the Ds” deserve a huge amount of credit for its success.

Weiss and Benioff are currently adapting George R.R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords for season three. “Book three is a blast,” Weiss says. “A very, very big blast.”

— Production news: For season three, the Thrones team plans to return to Croatia (many of the scenes set at King’s Landing were shot there) and will journey back to Iceland (for Jon Snow’s adventures North of the Wall). That’s in addition to the production’s main camp in Belfast. “And we might even add a fourth country,” Weiss says.

— We recently asked the duo about the sex scenes that had readers buzzing, mostly during the first half of the season, which even inspired a Saturday Night Live skit spoofing the show. “In the past few months we’ve seen our title sequence redone by The Simpsons, seen Mr. Garrison [on South Park] give a lecture on Westerosi politics, heard Adam Scott reference the show in Parks and Recreation, and been parodied on SNL,” Benioff says. “We got a big kick out of each (particularly Adam Scott because he’s so dreamy).”

“Super dreamy,” added Weiss. “Do you think he would do an explicit and expository sex scene on our show?”

“He said he would if he could wear a Band of Outsiders sweater vest,” Benioff said. “And nothing else.”

Weiss: “We need more guy junk on the show. Fair and balanced.”

— Another popular point of discussion this season: How much fan-tensity King Joffrey has inspired. “The fervor of anti-Joffreyism is a testimony to Jack Gleeson’s brilliance as an actor, because Jack is one of the sweetest kids I’ve ever met,” Benioff says. “Maybe he’s so sweet because playing Joffrey allows him to unload all his malignant urges. But the real Jack is so far from King Joffrey that sometimes I worry a deranged fan might see him in a bookstore and take a swing at him.”

The Game of Thrones season finale recap is here.

Episode Recaps

Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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